Picture of a judge's wigThe Judge RANTS!Picture of a judge's wig

Date: 22/07/10

The Law Above The Law

Let's run this little sequence again, shall we?

A man is walking home from work when he is approached by a group of men carrying weapons, acting in a menacing manner.

The gang order the man to get out of their way. When he refuses to be cowed by their aggressive manner, one of the gang strikes him from behind with a large stick, and then pushes him, causing him to fall to the ground. The blow is witnessed by a number of people, some of whom take video footage.

Having picked himself up and managed to struggle out of the way of the thugs, the man collapses and dies on the pavement shortly afterwards.

The gang claim publicly that it was an unfortunate incident, that it was the man's own fault for not showing them the respect that they felt due to them, that no blow was struck (and if there was, their homey didn't mean it), and that a friend of theirs said that the man was bound to die sometime anyway.

In the full run of events, the 'authorities' decide that - despite all the available evidence - the assailant is not to be charged with any criminal offence.

A strange decision? Not a bit of it; it is completely in line with modern-day standard operating procedure.

Because the man was a newspaper seller called Ian Tomlinson.

The menacing gang were all members of the police, tooled up to smash some protestors' heads during the G20 in London in 2009.

The friend was a serially-incompetent police medic called Freddy Patel who carried out a botched post-mortem examination on Mr Tomlinson which was later completely contradicted by not one but two such examinations carried out by independent doctors.

That, despite over one thousand people having been killed by the police in the last forty years, not one single cop has ever been convicted of homicide in relation to any of them.

Which is why today, nearly sixteen months after Mr Tomlinson was killed, the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) announced that the officer who struck Mr Tomlinson - now finally named publicly as one PC Simon Harwood - will not face any criminal charges in connection with the matter.

The pretzeloid reasoning given seems to run as follows:

One post-mortem carried out by a surgeon under investigation for incompetence disagreed with two carried out by reputable pathologists. This is described by the DPP as a "sharp disagreement between the medical experts". Because of this apparent inconclusiveness, Harwood can't be tried for manslaughter, presumably because it would only confuse a jury to have to make a decision between evidence provided by a bungler and that provided by people whose bona fides are not in question, and who agreed that Mr Tomlinson had died as a result of blunt-force trauma.

Assault charges could not be brought against Harwood because the CPS (I actually accidentally typed CoPS there first; silly me!) had taken the view that there was no evidence that the push which followed the attack with a truncheon caused Mr Tomlinson "substantial harm", despite the fact that the 'push' caused him to fall face-first to the pavement.

Harwood couldn't be charged with Common Assault either, because such a charge must be brought within six months of the alleged offence and the CPS and the 'Independent' Police Complaints Commission had taken much longer than that to investigate the matter. Which I'm sure was a heartbreaking disappointment to them. I'm sure they tried their best.

So this is where we find ourselves once again. The police cause someone's death. Their first calculated response is to spread a barrage of lies about the victim and the circumstances of his death, aided by a rogue pathologist. When this starts to fall apart - in the face of evidence seen around the world - and the inevitable investigation takes place, the investigators take so long over their work as to preclude the most likely charge against the assailant. The prosecutors then claim that their hands are tied, and that the version of events provided by a dodgy doctor would not be outweighed by that of two clinicians of repute who - independently of one another - reached a very different diagnosis...

...and that the CPS' decision to do nothing at all is announced on the fifth anniversary of the killing of Jean Charles de Menezes by the same police force, when his killers also escaped without prosecution (although their employers were done for breaches of health and safety legislation).

The ramifications of all this are far deeper than just this one case. It shows not only that the police in general - and the Met in particular - are utterly out of control, but it shows once again that the 'Independent' Police Complaints Commission is anything but (the word 'independent' serving as what one might call a 'Sellafield attributive', rather like those dictatorships which called themselves 'Socialist Republics' because it couldn't otherwise be guessed that they were), and that the Crown Prosecution Service - ever willing to bring ludicrous charges against anyone else if the political and media climate might warrant it - turn into a posse of pussies whenever faced by the possibility that some police officers on some occasions are little more than sociopathic and psychopathic thugs.

We are in the deepest trouble when those who are supposed to uphold the law - be it in enforcement or administration - connive between themselves to put themselves above that law.